How to Write a Final Draft
What is a final draft?
The final draft of a paper is a written piece that you will hand in as your best effort. Therefore, students should attach considerable importance to writing the final version of their papers because this is their last opportunity to correct any remaining errors and improve their written work.
The Steps Involved in Writing an Essay’s Final Draft
Once you have completed the draft of your paper, have a break. This draft will need revising another three times at least until it is in good order so it makes sense to have a rest for a while before beginning to work on your final version. You should also run a spell check on this second draft and you should review it for typos, incorrectly spelled words, incorrect punctuation, and unintentional repetition. It is also important to check the grammar at this stage. This is a step you need to be very careful with because grammar errors are not always as obvious as spelling mistakes. A grammar check involves correcting issues with noun-verb agreements, excessive use of passive voice, dangling participles, parallel constructions, etc. After the language in your paper has been thoroughly checked, you can turn your attention to the technical elements. This category includes checking title pages, reference lists, in-text citation, formatting style, and similar aspects. You need to make entirely sure every element meets your tutor’s or publisher’s requirements. Your entire piece will need revising one more time. Because this is the final time you will read back over your work with the aim of making corrections, you need to be even more attentive in checking the smallest details. The structure of your paper will need to be evaluated along with the credibility and organization of your arguments. Check that there are suitable transitions between each paragraph and pay particular attention to style, syntax, punctuation, and grammar.
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Main Points for Consideration
If you read your paper’s final draft aloud, you will have the opportunity to look afresh at your written work. It is often easier to notice weaknesses when you hear them. You should use your own words when writing essays and papers with the exception of when you are citing extracts from other texts. It is highly recommended you show how well you understand an issue, even if this is not correct, rather than embed your own ideas in the words of other authors. The final draft of your paper is your one last opportunity to eliminate any trace of plagiarism. There is nothing wrong with using a computer spell-checker to proofread your text since these programs can automatically check grammar and spelling. Nonetheless, it is advisable to proofread your work again yourself after your computer’s spell check is complete to eliminate any mistakes your computer may have missed.
Dos and Don’ts
What You Should Do
- Check that your central thesis statement is written and that it includes all your main ideas. Check, too, that your introductory paragraph is sufficiently interesting to get readers hooked.
- Check that each paragraph presents a new idea. It is essential you do not cram several ideas into a single paragraph. Make sure that each paragraph begins with a topic sentence setting out the main point or idea for that paragraph.
- Evaluate your research materials and evidence. There should be a sufficient amount of this, but your paper should not be overloaded with excessive facts.
- Check spelling on your own, pay close attention to grammar, syntax, style and punctuation.
What You Should Not Do
- Do not read your text on your computer or laptop screen. Once you have used your computer to spell-check it, print a copy and proofread from this copy. Text is easier to see on paper.
- Do not depend too heavily on computer-based grammar and spell-checking software. While these tools help with proofreading, they are certainly not perfect and sometimes they miss simple errors.
- Proofreading should not be left until the eleventh hour. Allow sufficient time for thorough revision because this is likely to be the version you will submit.
- Do not hesitate to hand your final paper to a colleague or other person to proofread. Someone who has not previously seen your written work will be seeing it afresh, and are likely to spot any errors or flaws you overlooked.
Issues to Consider Writing Your Final Draft Essay
In order to come up with a high quality paper, a good writer will start his work from drafts writing. It is not a short way from the first till the final draft essay and that is why many writers tend to skip this part of the writing process.
After you have put all information together, it seems that there is nothing else to do with your paper. However, in order to reach a desired result, you will have to have a final look at your work and improve some areas. Our tips on writing final draft will help you understand what areas have to be addressed to finalize your paper and make it perfect.
So, in the process of writing your final draft essay, you should consider the following elements of the paper:
Nowadays, more and more people tend to rely on their software for correcting spelling mistakes. However, it is a common knowledge that computers cannot always be trusted in this regard. There is nothing better that checking spelling by looking through the content of your paper. Do not be lazy to re-read your paper or ask someone to read the paper for you. It will help you avoid misprints and minor mistakes.
Grammar should be checked in your final draft essay even though you consider yourself a good writer. There is always a possibility that you have missed some article or chose a wrong form of a verb. Check each sentence separately for such mistakes.
Make sure you tick to the required word count. Too much is not always too good. If you write 2,000 words instead of required 1,000, it may be a sign that you cannot organize your thoughts properly. If you have added more information that needed intentionally to meet the word count and to be able to remove some of it if needed, it is a right time to do so. However, you have to make sure that you delete irrelevant or less important information. Your task is to provide not only quantity but also quality.
Check the requirements regarding sources that are allowed to be used and the references you used. If some of them seem irrelevant, it is better to remove them prior writing the final paper. Try to find up-to-date and reliable information for your paper to be sure that facts and evidences you use can be trusted.
In the process of your final draft writing, pay attention to the way you format your sources. Provide full bibliography information so it was easy to find the sources and check information you provide. Sourcing information can also be useful for its fast checking by your professor.
Choosing Proper Formatting Style
Before formatting your sources, make sure you know the formatting rules of a specific style. If you have problems with formatting MLA or APA, check reliable sources, which will give you necessary tips. It may also be useful to but some book explaining a specific formatting style to avoid mistakes.
After all the areas are addressed, read your paper once more to check if the information is provided in a logical manner. In case you notice some areas require adjustments, make necessary corrections.
Frequent Mistakes in Final Drafts
- References are not complete. It is common for students to rush when writing their final drafts so that they can get projects finished. Therefore, they do not pay sufficient attention to reference lists and in-text citation.
- Not spelling or writing abbreviated terms in full. Abbreviated names and terms should be written in full before the abbreviations are used.
- Failure to explain what unusual words mean. A student may use terms with special meaning but not remember to explain them. These terms might not be picked up by spell-checkers and the student might forget them when they are proofreading, especially if they are correctly spelled.